Let's continue looking at the US labor market by focusing on employer behavior:
The total number of establishment jobs indicates that employers have been hiring, and doing so consistently. However, the total amount of establishment jobs is still 2 million below that highest level of the previous expansion -- and that's before we take population growth into account.
The above two charts are from the JOLTs survey and they highlight an interesting trend. While the number of openings being advertised is at decent levels for this time in the expansion, the total number of hires is still very low. Put in a different way, while employers are advertising job openings, they aren't hiring at a high rate.
This information tells us that while employers are advertising positions as open, they're just not filling them that quickly. This ties in with the low level of employer confidence.